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20130827
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court case of a couple of years ago and, obviously, municipal concerns like the city of detroit. define for us what exactly is eminent domain? >> guest: well, thank you, bill. and, again, it's a pleasure to be back on "washington journal." eminent domain is the power of government to take private property. it's actually a very old power. kings in europe exercised it hundreds of years ago. garage -- gradually the custom arose that people have to be compensated when their property was taken. and it was certainly an attribute of the british crown. so after the revolution the states had the power, and interestingly the fifth amendment to the federal constitution says that nor shall private property be taken without just compensation. it doesn't actually give the federal government the power, it simply assumes that as a sovereign the federal government has that power. >> and was that fifth amendment built into the constitution based on the experiences of the colonies with the crown? >> well, this is a very fascinating point because the crown had abused the colonies in, many ways. so you have
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